How to make sure your dog’s collar fits properly

Make sure your dog's collar fits properly

A collar for your dog is like a wallet is for a person: a place to carry his license and identification. Pet collars are available in a wide variety of styles, materials and colors so you are sure to find one to suit your pet’s personality and style. However, for your dog’s comfort and safety, the most important aspect when selecting your dog’s collar is to ensure that the collar fits correctly.

How to measure for a dog collar: First, use a cloth tape measure to measure the circumference of your dog’s neck; you can use a piece of string or ribbon if you don’t have a measuring tape. To ensure the collar isn’t too tight, you’ll need to add about one to three inches (depending upon your dog’s size) to this measurement to find the correct length collar.

Other considerations: In addition to the length, the width of your dog’s collar is also important. A collar that is too wide for your dog may rub and cause discomfort, while a collar that is too narrow may not be comfortable when you walk your dog on a leash.  Bigger/stronger dogs as well as dogs that tend to pull on the leash will require a wider collar.

Use the “two finger” rule: Once the dog’s collar is fastened, you should be able to easily slide two fingers under the collar. When you slide the width of your two fingers between the collar and neck, the collar should feel snug, but not tight. You should not be able to slide your dog’s collar off his head, or your dog may end up slipping his collar.

After you have found the proper-size collar for your dog, remember to check periodically to ensure your dog’s collar is in good repair and still fits correctly.

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for mentioning how many inches we should add to the measurement of a dogs collar. I’ve been wondering because I don’t want it to be too tight or too loose. We are looking to buy our dog a Seattle Sea-hawks dog collar online so we can’t try it on before buying it. I appreciate you posting this because it is going to make it so we don’t waste time buying it and then sending it back if the collar isn’t the right fit!

  2. Should the collar sit high or low around the dogs neck?

  3. When you mention the “width of 2 fingers”, is that fingers side by side or fingers vertical? The “width of fingers” indicates to me that the fingers are side by side! The “height of 2 fingers” would indicate that the fingers are on top each other!

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